Estate planning can be extremely difficult for anyone that cannot afford help initially and who does not have any estate planning experience. Like most things, most people are tempted to put off estate planning for as long as possible. No one wants to seriously think of a time when they might be unable to care for themselves. However, starting estate planning early will help make sure that nothing is forgotten or left to chance.
There are many consequences that come when a person fails to start their estate planning early. The first consequence is that many of the assets you plan to leave to specific individuals might be distributed incorrectly. If a will is not completed and properly witnessed in the state of Kansas it is easy to overturn. In the event that no valid will can be found all assets are distributed evenly between a spouse and children. Friends and distant relatives are completely excluded.
Even when a will is valid and completed it is possible that heirs will not be able to benefit from their inheritance. It is not unusual for unexpected death taxes and funeral expenses to completely deplete an estate. In some situations family members find themselves in debt as a result of their loved ones death or incapacitation even though the estate seemed to be an ample one.
One way to buy time and ensure your families’ future is to seek alternatives to wills. These can be used while you research all parts of the estate planning process in Kansas. It will help avoid that sense of urgency that often leads to serious mistakes that cost families thousands.
Establishing trusts for minor children and dependent relatives are one of the first things that should be done. These trusts will ensure that your heirs are cared for even if a will is not completed before your death. Another alternative is to establish a personal bank account set to Transfer on Death or that is Payable on Death.
Find out what the most common percentages for death taxes in Kansas are and tell your family. This will help avoid a shock when the fee needs to be paid. Also prepay as many funeral expenses as possible to help your family keep the remaining estate. Lastly, settle any accounts that might eventually be charged against the estate after your death. An Estate Planning Attorney can help answer any questions you have, and can ensure you have planned accordingly.